“My life is like a movie. I do my own stunts.” ~Lil Wayne
I am not a Lil Wayne fan. However, this short and poignant quote touched my soul. I like the position he takes with his words–active, aggressive, in charge and true to himself. I dig that.Advertising
Viewing your life from the posture of both star and screenwriter of your own personal box office masterpiece as opposed to a spectator sitting in the audience taking it all in with a bag of popcorn, could be the genesis of a new you. That one small paradigm shift could alter the trajectory of your life forever.
Life from the audience
Life from the spectator’s vantage point is safe, uneventful, and very neutral. It allows us to engage in experiences from a distance. We can participate in a precarious situation yet walk away unscathed–nothing lost and nothing gained. The danger of the spectator lifestyle is that there is a level of disengagement that absolves us from taking any responsibility for the things that happen around us and more importantly to us.Advertising
The best part of sitting in the audience is once the show is over you get to critique the performance. The actors’ performances, the cinematography, the musical score, the storyline and plot are all there waiting to be ripped apart, scrutinized, and dismissed by you–a mere mortal with no “skin in the game.” The professional football world refers to this as “Monday morning quarterbacking.” As time progresses, you become increasingly more pious and critical of others. However, when you are faced with a set of circumstances where you must play a role, you excuse your mistakes, feel sorry for yourself and blame others for your tragic failures.
Becoming the screenwriter and star of your life requires you to “do your own stunts.” You must stop daydreaming and living vicariously through others and actively participate. The failures, mistakes, bruises, and scars are worth it. The late, great Jackie Robinson put it like this:Advertising
“Life is not a spectator sport. If you’re going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you’re wasting your life.“
Life as a scriptwriter and star
Accepting and embracing the fact that you are the star of your own life with creative control over the script is crucial to living a purposeful and fulfilled life with no regrets. You must understand and accept the fact that you alone determine the overall success or failure of your life.Advertising
Being the star and creative force of your life gives you the ability to rewrite the script at a moment’s notice, altering the plot, setting or theme at your discretion. You get to cast and recast your own characters, determine their roles and cut them due to “creative differences,” when necessary. And then there are the plot twists. Sometimes you get to author your own plot twist and sometimes they are authored for you. Either way, a good plot twist makes an excellent movie.
Headlining your life requires a few things. First is audacity. You need to be bold enough to face fear and failure and proceed anyway. Second, you need a vision. Life without vision is akin to a movie without a plot–both are a pointless waste of time. Develop a vision for your life and let it serve as the theme that guides your plot. The last thing you need is perseverance. You have to stick with it in order to make it to the final curtain call. With these attributes and the recognition that a life lived from the audience is no life at all, there is nothing that you can’t accomplish.
Featured photo credit: BagoGames via flickr.com
Last Updated on October 17, 2018
10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Overcome Your Fear
The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.
In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.
Here are 10 ways to help you step out of your comfort zone and get closer to success:
1. Become aware of what’s outside of your comfort zone
What are the things that you believe are worth doing but are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?
Draw a circle and write those things down outside the circle. This process will not only allow you to clearly identify your discomforts, but your comforts. Write identified comforts inside the circle.
2. Become clear about what you are aiming to overcome
Take the list of discomforts and go deeper. Remember, the primary emotion you are trying to overcome is fear.
How does this fear apply uniquely to each situation? Be very specific.
Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your looks?
Or, are you afraid of being ignored?
3. Get comfortable with discomfort
One way to get outside of your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort.
Let’s stay with the theme of meeting people in social settings. If you start feeling a little panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to comfort. If you stay long enough and practice often enough, it will start to become less uncomfortable.
4. See failure as a teacher
Many of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams.
Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from the experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance of success?
Many highly successful people failed plenty of times before they succeeded. Here’re some examples:
5. Take baby steps
Don’t try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.
Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to do public speaking, start by taking every opportunity to speak to small groups of people. You can even practice with family and friends.
Take a look at this article on how you can start taking baby steps:
6. Hang out with risk takers
There is no substitute for this step. If you want to become better at something, you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start emulating them. (Here’re 8 Reasons Why Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful).
Almost inevitably, their influence will start have an effect on your behavior.
7. Be honest with yourself when you are trying to make excuses
Don’t say “Oh, I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead, be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.”
Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance of moving forward.
8. Identify how stepping out will benefit you
What will the ability to engage in public speaking do for your personal and professional growth? Keep these potential benefits in mind as motivations to push through fear.
9. Don’t take yourself too seriously
Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will inevitably involve failure and setbacks that will sometimes make you look foolish to others. Be happy to roll with the punches when others poke fun.
If you aren’t convinced yet, check out these 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously.
10. Focus on the fun
Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.
It will probably seem really scary at first to get out of your comfort zone. But as I said, you don’t need to jump right out of your comfort zone at once, you can take baby steps gradually. As you slowly push past your comfort zone, you’ll feel more and more at ease about the new stuff which seems so dangerous to you.
Take the first step and I’m sure you’ll make it!
Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com